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£1 July 2013

UK PM urges talks with Taliban Issue: 64

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British Prime Minister David Cameron says talks with the Taliban are the only way forward to end the almost 12-year conflict in Afghanistan. Cameron, said in a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul that London is interested in holding peace talks with the Taliban. He added the Afghan government is also ready for the negotiations stressing a peace process involving the insurgents should have been set in motion earlier. His remarks came as Britain’s senior military officer in Afghanistan General Nick Carter said that the western front had an opportunity to talk to the Taliban 10 years ago but they went for the wrong choice of continuing to fight the insurgents. Cameron also urged the Taliban to endorse a “political process” and lay down arms. His stance is in diametrical opposition to what London has been pursuing in Afghanistan up to now. Since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, 444 British forces have been killed in the country.

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Flat-pack shelters for Syrian refugees

They can be assembled in just four hours and be ready – without tools – for use in a crisis zone; flatpack refugee shelters are now being designed by Swedish furniture giant, Ikea. The United Nations’ refugee agency said it had turned to Ikea to produce

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the shelters and the first prototypes, costing $8,000 a piece, have already been produced and will be set up in crisis zones. “We will set up 26 (ready-to-assemble shelters) which have already arrived in Ethiopia. Twelve will soon arrive at the Iraqi border for Syrian

refugees and 12 in Lebanon, also for Syrians,” head of innovation at UNHCR, Oliver Delarue, told AFP news agency. Consisting of semi-hard plastic walls and roofs made from composite material and with room to house five people each, the cottagelike shelters have flexible solar panels on the roofs for power, according to AFP. The specially-made can also deflect heat during the day and retain it at night.

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thePassion

www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2013

By Dr Abdul B Shaikh

Lecturer in Islamic Studies @ Leeds University

Are Muslim organisations fit for the 21st Century?

Muslims in the UK by in large been living in stable but secure communities for the best part of 70 years. The pioneers or the founding fathers of the communities made an immense contribution to the setting up of mosques, supplementary schools, educational establishments and community organisations which are utilised everyday by Muslim communities across the UK. Our elders some of whom who are no longer with us defined the aims, objectives and purpose of these organisations primarily as they were concerned and feared for the futures of future generations. Some Muslim communities even today are still indeed fortunate that they can seek guidance and tap into the wisdom and foresight of the pioneers that still remain amongst us. Today, certain sections within our community unfortunately

are rather too pre-occupied with nostalgia and or a feeling of pride at their collective achievements of yesteryear in so far as that they have taken their eye of the radar in respect of the rampant ills of society today that affect our proud community. One is of the view that many Muslim organisations up and down the country that attach too much importance to image or commercial interests and as a result have lost sight of the founding guiding principles of the pioneers of these organisations. In reality, do we want Muslim organisations to become a ‘white elephant’ that exists for the sake of existence or do we want organisations that put the people first and ultimately serve their interests. The question we need to ask ourselves do we still have the same concern today like our forefathers or have we reached a stage where nobody cares

anymore about what happens to us, our community or society for that matter. It should be said that all of us including our community leaders need to detach ourselves from power politics and personality clashes and take a good luck at ourselves and engage in renewing the founding and guiding principles of our founder fathers. We are all too aware of cases involving members of the Muslim community who have become helpless or been chastised on the basis that they have an alcohol problem or a drug addiction. Divorce has now become the norm rather than the exception in so far as people rejoice when they receive their divorce settlement neglecting the fact that the parties concerned face a very uncertain future. Nevertheless, it is never too late to address the social and moral ills that have descended upon our community in the last 20 years. However, strong and vibrant community organisations also require true visionaries and intellectuals in order to take our communities forward and at the same time develop innovative strategies and frameworks in order to tackle the rampant social and moral decay that is devouring us at this present time. Individualism and the beast of selfishness pose major threats to our community and have in reality caused a great deal of pain and damage. One will end this debate by stating that each and every one of us have a fundamental role to play in creating a prosperous, cohesive and vibrant community that serves future generations to come.

Write to: Editor, PI Media, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: info@pi-media.co.uk - www.pi-media.co.uk This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -

Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not necessarily of Passion Islam.


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Britain’s spy agency GCHQ ‘Tap fibre optic cables for data’

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GCHQ has tapped fibre-optic cables that carry international phone and internet traffic and is sharing vast quantities of personal information with the U.S. National Security Agency, the Guardian newspaper said. The paper, which has in recent weeks been publishing details of top-secret surveillance programs

NEWS

exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, said on its website Snowden had shown it documents about a project codenamed “Tempora”. Tempora has been running for around 18 months and allows GCHQ to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days, the paper said.

The story is likely to put further pressure on PM David Cameron’s government to reassure the public about how data about them is collected and used. In response to questions about the secret U.S. data-monitoring program PRISM, Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament that GCHQ always adhered to British law when processing data gained from eavesdropping. “In line with longstanding practice we do not comment on intelligence matters,” a GCHQ spokesman said. The Tempora operation involves attaching intercept probes to transatlantic cables where they land on British stores from North America, the Guardian said. This was done with the agreement of unnamed companies, who were forbidden from revealing warrants that compelled them to allow GCHQ access, it added.


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Saudi cleric sues Guardian over claims he is an ‘extremist’

A Saudi cleric is suing The Guardian for unlimited damages claiming the paper has wrongly suggested he is an “extremist” sympathetic to al-Qaida. Sheikh Saad Bin Nasser Al Shathri also claims the title incorrectly reported he is “deliberately pursuing an ongoing and divisive feud with his monarch”, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. A High Court claim form further said that in doing this it is inferred Shathri is “ignoring the considerable generosity and tolerance” shown by the king to the religious community.

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The cleric is also seeking an injunction to prevent the paper from publishing defamatory material about him again. The complained-about article, “Saudi Arabia’s clerics challenge King Abdullah’s reform agenda”, was published both in print and online in July 2011. Written by South Asia correspondent Jason Burke, it describes Shathri as a “hardliner” and described his criticism of the king’s decision to allow men and women to work together in a science university. It quotes him as saying: “mixing (genders) is a great sin and a great

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evil”. The article also claims Shatrhi is “unrepentant” and emphasised his differences with the country’s royal family. The claim form said

it was “understood to mean that... [Shathri] is an extremist, hard-line cleric and is therefore supportive of or sympthetic towards the fundamentalist beliefs and activities of reactionaries such as al-Qaida, the well-known terrorist organisation active in the Arabic region”. Shathri said he was not given an opportunity to respond to the aclaims prior to publication and that the facts of the story were “untrue”. He also said the paper failed to respond to the complaint he made after publication. A Guardian spokesperson said the paper is fighting the claims. www.pi-media.co.uk

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I July 2013

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I July 2013

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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David Cameron raises case of Shaker Aamer with President Obama

Prime Minister David Cameron has raised the case of Shaker Aamer with President Obama. Mr Aamer is the last remaining British resident in Guantanamo Bay and is currently on hunger-strike. Clive,Stafford-Smith, Aamer’s lawyer, and Director of the legal and human rights charity Reprieve,

wrote to David Cameron requesting that he discuss Shaker Aamer’s case with his US counterpart. Aamer been cleared for release and the UK government has repeatedly stated that it wants him brought back home to London. Shaker Aamar, who has permission to live in the UK

Scotland urged to enter the Islamic market

indefinitely because his wife is a British national, has been in the military prison since 2002 following his detention in Afghanistan in 2001. The US authorities claim that he led a unit of Taliban fighters against Nato troops and had met Osama Bin Laden. However, Aamer has always said he was in Afghanistan with his family to undertake charity work. He has not been charged with any offence. Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt confirmed a discussion was held during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland and that the government “continues to make clear to the US that we want Mr Aamer released”. Commenting, Clive Stafford Smith, said: “This is precisely what political power is for: to ensure justice for someone in Shaker’s position. Let us hope that President Obama swiftly responds to his closest ally, and proves that it truly a special relationship.”

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Scotland could tap into one of the fastest growing global streams of investment, experts from the Islamic finance arena were told an Edinburgh conference on Scottish infrastructure and renewable projects last month. The Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC), a body based in Scotland, said the “sukuk” bond market had surged to more than £159bn and cited the example of Saxony Anhalt, the German state, which has already successfully issued a sukuk attracting £85m from Islamic investors. The council has been proposing the idea to the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise for the past three years.

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I July 2013

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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Supreme Court criticises Government over unnecessary use of secret courts

The UK Supreme Court criticised Government lawyers over their unnecessary use of secret courts – known as Closed Material Procedures (CMPs). In a judgement handed down in Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Court’s President, Lord Neuberger, said that “the closed material procedure” for which the Government had pushed “added nothing.” He also backed the conclusion of his colleague Lord Hope, who found that the Government’s “approach fell far short of what was needed to show that it was necessary for this procedure to be resorted to.”

CMPs – which were recently pushed through Parliament by Ken Clarke as part of the Justice and Security Act – are controversial as they see the state’s opponents shut out of the court, leaving them unable to challenge or even see the evidence used by the Government against them. In the judgement, Lord Neuberger described such procedures as “offensive to [the] fundamental principle” of natural justice. The case concerned the shutting down of a bank’s activities by the Treasury. But the Government has also made clear that it intends to attempt to use CMPs in the case of

Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, an anti-Gaddafi dissident who was kidnapped and ‘rendered’ to Gaddafi’s Libya along with his pregnant wife Fatima Boudchar in 2004 – an operation in which MI6 played a central role. Mr Belhaj has offered to settle his case in return for a token payment of £1 from each of the defendants – the Government, then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and former MI6 Director of Counter Terrorism Mark Allen – along with an apology and an admission of what happened. However, the Government has refused to accept his offer, instead choosing to fight the case in the courts. Mr Belhaj is being assisted in his case by the human rights charity Reprieve. Commenting, Reprieve’s Strategic Director Cori Crider said: “If the government was prepared to fib about how necessary these secret courts are in a financial case, the risk is tenfold worse when the case involves UK involvement in kidnap and torture. We have already seen Government lawyers arguing that they should also be used in the Belhaj case - in short, to cover up the way in which the UK handed Gaddafi his enemies, as part of Tony Blair’s dirty ‘deal in the desert.’ This is a powerful cautionary tale for any court asked to judge torture cases behind closed doors.”

Rotherham, Manchester, Cardiff and London. Patients with type 2 diabetes who may want to fast during Ramadan are being encouraged to discuss with their GP how to manage their condition during this time. Dr Wasim Hanif, diabetes clinical lead at the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘Fasting during Ramadan can affect blood sugar levels as neither food nor drink is consumed between pre-sunrise and sunset. Long gaps between eating mean that the risk of experiencing low blood glucose levels is increased.’ Nurses at the events will

provide blood glucose tests using Silver Star’s mobile diabetes units. Patients with hypo or hyperglycaemic blood samples can be advised on the safest way to observe Ramadan. Ramadan begins on 9 July in the UK, subject to sighting of the moon, and lasts for 29 - 30 days.

GPs lead Ramadan diabetes campaign GPs across the UK are leading meetings at local mosques to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to speak to their doctor if they plan to fast during Ramadan. Diabetes patients who plan to fast during Ramadan are being asked to visit their GP. The ‘Staying Healthy During Ramadan’ campaign, organised by charity Silver Star, aims to raise awareness of the risks associated with type 2 diabetes and fasting ahead of the Islamic holy month, which starts in July. Local doctors have already led many meetings at mosques in Leicester, Birmingham, Bradford,


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Britain fails to put Hezbollah on EU terror list

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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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In Case You Missed It

A small group of EU countries has again blocked Britain’s bid to blacklist Lebanese group Hezbollah. Diplomatic sources said Austria and the Czech republic led opposition at a meeting of EU countries’ counter-terrorism specialists in Brussels. Ireland, Italy and Poland also voiced concerns. Objections centre around shaky evidence that Hezbollah bombed a bus containing Jewish tourists in Bulgaria last year. The Bulgarian foreign ministry said its investigation is incomplete. Its spokesman, Dimitar Yaprakov,

said Sofia is still waiting for “replies to the current judicial requests in connection with the Bulgarian investigation from our foreign partners.” Some of the naysayers are worried the move might destabilise Lebanon, where Hezbollah is a popular political party. The details of the British proposal - to blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing, but not its political branch - are also posing problems. “The Czech position is that it’s impossible to separate the military arm [of Hezbollah] from the civilian one,” an EU source said.

The talks are set to continue. But Britain plans to kick them up a level, leaving aside the security specialists and turning to senior EU diplomats or foreign ministers instead. EU foreign policy heavyweights France, Germany and the Netherlands back London. Another EU diplomat said Wednesday’s talks saw more countries fall into the pro-sanctions camp. “More member states came round to the view that Hezbollah needs to be listed … This was only the second meeting on the subject and there is a clear momentum towards listing the group. But now it will have to be discussed at a more senior level,” the contact said. If the UK gets its way, proHezbollah sympathisers in Europe will find it more difficult to donate money. It will also stigmatise Israel’s fiercest enemy in the Middle East. “We have been saying for a long time that the EU needs to take this, maybe bold, but necessary step,” Yoel Mester, the spokesman for the Israeli mission to the EU, said.

Turkey warns UK of retaliation over spying

Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek says his country could take measures against Britain after revelations that London spied on G20 delegates, including Simsek himself, back in 2009. “Our Foreign Ministry is taking necessary steps. If there are other

steps to be taken, our Foreign Ministry needs to study them,” the Turkish minister said at a press conference in the capital Ankara. Simsek had earlier stressed that Turkey would condemn the incident in “the strongest terms” if the revelations by The Guardian prove to

be true. Also the Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded that London provides an “official and satisfying explanation” on the allegations. The British paper said in a report last week that Britain’s secret eavesdropping agency monitored communications between officials, especially those from Russia, Turkey and South Africa, during the two G20 meetings in April and September of 2009. The spying was reportedly done under orders from a senior official of the government of the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with the tapped information sent directly to his ministers. www.pi-media.co.uk


I WORLD NEWS

I July 2013

US Airport accommodates Muslim prayer facility

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Making it easier for hundreds of Muslim taxi-drivers to perform their religious duties, San Francisco International Airport has specified a special place for wudu’ (ablution) and prayers. Airport authorities have decided to allocate a place in the garage for Muslim taxi-drivers to perform their prayers. The move came in response to a

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request by cab driver Hasan Khan, 52, a Pakistani immigrant, to specify a room for Muslim prayers in the airport. Spending most of their day at the airport to serve passengers, many Muslim cab drivers had to carry large bottle waters around for their wudu’. Otherwise, they had to use the bathrooms inside the terminal to wash — a practice not always

Facebook got 10k US data requests’

The social networking website Facebook says it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data from US government entities in the last six months of 2012. The Internet giant said that the requests, which involved 18,000 to 19,000 of its users’ accounts, covered issues from minor crime to national security. The disclosure comes after The Guardian revealed a top secret US court order that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect data on millions of Americans who are customers of the major US phone company, Verizon. Also a former CIA employee Edward Snowden, leaked

documents exposing the widespread surveillance of US communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), as well as a separate NSA program code-named PRISM that allows the government to access private conversations conducted over Facebook, Google, Skype and other services. Meanwhile the facebook declined to say to what extent the company had met the requests, but noted that Facebook had “aggressively” safeguarded its users’ data. The administration of US President has already come under fire for secretly obtaining the phone records of the Associated Press journalists as well as others

welcomed by airport passengers. In response, airport authorities decided to install wash equipment on the ground floor of the main garage to help Muslim taxi-drivers to wash for their prayers. Next to the wash equipment, an area was specified where the drivers congregate for their prayers. State and federal laws require employers to accommodate the religious practices of workers unless they unduly burden the company. Airport authorities say they are keen on maintaining good relations with Muslim service providers. “The way we look at it…this was in the interest of maintaining a good relationship with ground transportation providers,’’ says airport spokesman Doug Yakel. The spokesman described the costs of the prayer room as nominal, with the work done by in-house plumbers. Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to from 7-8 million Muslims.

Kuwait to hold snap elections on July 25

Kuwait will hold a snap parliamentary election on July 25, state news agency KUNA said, after the Gulf Arab state’s top court dissolved the chamber on a technicality in a case which has aggravated political tensions. The election will be the sixth since 2006. Opposition supporters lost a legal fight to undo changes to the voting system which they said favors pro-government candidates. The Constitutional Court however found fault in the process leading up to the last elections in December and ordered a new ballot for the 50-member assembly. “At an extraordinary meeting the cabinet approved a draft decree inviting voters to elect members of the National Assembly on July 25,” Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah as saying.


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Israeli military uses Palestinian kids as human shields: UN www.pi-media.co.uk

In Case You Missed It

A United Nations human rights body has criticized the Tel Aviv regime for torturing Palestinian children, saying the Israeli military frequently uses them as human shields in its operations. The UN Committee on the Rights

of the Child said, Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip are normally not allowed to have their birth registered, and are denied access to health care, decent schooling as well as safe drinking water. Palestinian children arrested by (Israeli) military and police are systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released,” it said in a report. The UN committee also expressed regret over Israel’s “persistent refusal” to respond to requests for information on children in the Palestinian territories and occupied Golan Heights since the last review in 2002. “Hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed and thousands injured over the reporting period as a result of Israel military operations, especially in Gaza where Israel proceeded to [conduct] air and

Society helps 1,100 embrace Islam In Case You Missed It

Over 20,000 residents of 200 nationalities have converted to Islam at the Islamic Information Centre of the Dubai government-run Dar Al Ber Society since its inception in 1993. Rashid Aljunaibi, Director of the centre said more than 1,100 of them became Muslims this year. “Seventy of these converted to Islam at the centre in May, and these were from the Philippines, China, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, Spain, Australia, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Lebanon.” Official statistics show that the centre helped 1,907 residents convert to Islam in 2012 as compared to 1,350 in 2011, 1,500 in 2010, and 1,059 in 2009. “Over 50,000 individuals and families, hailing from different countries, approached the centre on an annual basis to know about Islam.”

Non-Muslims also have a good chance to meet new Muslims and listen to many conversion stories from their compatriots in their own languages at the centre. This has been an astounding success in imparting the right message of Islam. Aljunaibi said people are touched by the merciful instructions of Islam which orders its followers to be honest, fair and kind to all people, disregarding their religion, race, language and colour.

naval strikes on densely populated areas with a significant presence of children, thus disregarding the principles of proportionality and distinction,” the report stated. The UN report also stated that an estimated 7,000 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17, but some as young as nine, have been arrested, interrogated and detained over the past ten years. Many are brought in leg chains and shackles before military courts, while youths are held in solitary confinement, sometimes for months, the report said. It voiced deep concern at the “continuous use of Palestinian children as human shields and informants”, saying 14 such cases had been reported between January 2010 and March 2013 alone. Israeli soldiers had used Palestinian children to enter potentially dangerous buildings and forced them to stand in front of military vehicles to deter stonethrowing, it said.

Former Libyan regime figures to be tried Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former leader Libyan Col Muammar Gaddafi, will be tried in August, the prosecutor’s office has announced. It said the case against him and other senior regime members would include charges of forming criminal gangs, inciting rape and illegal detentions. Libya has resisted the International Criminal Court’s requests to extradite Saif al-Islam for trial in The Hague. He is wanted by the ICC on war crimes charges, but Tripoli insists he will be prosecuted at home, where he could face the death penalty. Among those who are expected to go on trial in August are Col Gaddafi’s intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and ex-Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi. Saif al-Islam is currently being held in the western Libyan town of Zintan.


FBI admits using drones for surveillance in the US

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FBI Director Robert Muller has admitted that the agency uses aerial surveillance drones in the US. However, he claims that drones are utilized in a “very, very minimal way, very seldom.”

Yahoo received up to 13,000 data requests from US in 6 months

Yahoo is the latest company to disclose how many requests for user data it has received from U.S. government agencies, putting the number between 12,000 and 13,000 in the six months that ended on May 31. Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer and General Counsel Ron Bell said in a blog post late Monday that the most common requests concerned fraud homicides, kidnappings, and other criminal investigations. Yahoo says it plans to update the report twice a year. Internet companies have asked the U.S. government to be able to share how many requests it received related to national security and how it handled them. Those requests were made as part of Prism, the recently revealed highly classified National Security Agency program that seizes records from Internet companies.

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In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the collection of data, Muller admitted that there might need to be some legal restrictions set in place to protect privacy, the Guardian reports.

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On the other hand, senators appear to be concerned. Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee says she’s more worried about drone surveillance than Internet and phone surveillance. Other senators admit that drones can be highly efficient for law enforcement, but they’re concerned that the FBI’s practices might not respect the US constitution. Interestingly, while many Americans think PRISM is justified as long as it’s used in the fight against terrorism, a poll conducted by the LA Times shows that, so far, most people disagree with the FBI’s use of drones.

Imran urges drone action as he becomes Pakistan MP Pakistani politician Imran Khan urged the government and military leaders to build a strategy to halt U.S. drone attacks in the country’s northwest. Khan, the head of the Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaaf (PTI) party which made a major breakthrough at the May 11 general election, is a vocal opponent of the missile attacks targeting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. The 60-year-old was unable to take the oath with other lawmakers on June 1 as he was undergoing treatment for serious back injuries suffered in a fall at an election rally shortly before polling day. But he delivered a wide-ranging speech in parliament, setting out his policies and intention of holding the new government to account from the opposition benches. Khan said a comprehensive approach was needed, involving the army chief -- widely seen as the most

powerful man in a country ruled for more than half its life by the military. “The prime minister, army chief and chief ministers should sit together and form a policy on drone attacks,” Khan told parliament. “We have to make this war our war, and it cannot become our own war unless we stop drone attacks.” According to the British Bureau of Investigative Journalism, since 2004 up to 3,587 people have been killed in Pakistan by drone attacks, and critics argue the civilian deaths they cause encourage people to join militant groups.


UAE, India in talks to activate prisoner swap

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I July 2013

Talks have taken place between UAE and Indian officials to discuss ways of activating an agreement on exchanging prisoners. Discussions focused on overcoming obstacles facing the enactment of the agreement which was approved in December Officials debated the most effective means of transferring the largest possible number of convicted persons wishing to continue their prison sentences in India, a statement said.

WORLD NEWS

Brigadier Hamad Adil Al Shamsi, director general of the Punitive Reformatory Establishments at the Ministry of Interior, met Anand Bardhan, counsellor- Community Programmes, Embassy of India to the UAE. “This agreement aims to achieve psychological and social stability among inmates and their families. Allowing inmates to continue their prison terms in their home country will facilitate visits and communication with their families,”

Muslim woman loses baby after veil attack A young pregnant Muslim woman, who was allegedly attacked in the street for wearing Hijab has lost her baby, her lawyer said. According to reports in the French media the woman, who was four months pregnant, was assaulted in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil on June 13th. The 21-year-old’s lawyer Hosni Maati told AFP that the woman had since suffered a miscarriage. “Her husband called me and said she had lost the baby,” the lawyer said before adding that the family

were devastated by the tragedy and would not be making any further comment. A police source involved in the investigation also confirmed the miscarriage to AFP but did not confirm that the attack was the cause of her losing the baby. In reporting the attack to police she described how she was set upon by two men in the middle of the street, just after she had finished talking to her mother on the telephone. www.pi-media.co.uk

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the statement added Under the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement, prisoners with a minimum of six months left to serve will be able to apply for the transfer but must not have a pending case against them. Inmates imprisoned for drug offences, murder and financial crimes will not be eligible. Last month, it was reported that more than 6,500 Indian nationals are jailed in foreign countries, with a majority of them lodged in the jails of the Gulf countries. Saudi Arabia has 1,691 Indian prisoners, Kuwait 1,161 and the UAE 1,012, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs. Indian media quoted the ministry as saying there are a total of 6,569 Indians held in jails in 112 foreign countries.

Saudi Arabia to build ‘pilgrim city’ in Madinah

Saudi Arabia will build a “pilgrim city” for 200,000 Muslims who travel to Madinah for Haj and Umrah, Arab News has reported. The state-of-the-art city would cover 1.6m square metres and include hotels, furnished apartments, a railway and bus station, government offices and a 400-bed hospital. The project would be funded by the state-owned Public Investment Fund. The kingdom is boosting its services and facilities at the holy city as an increasing number of Muslim pilgrims make the voyage. Saudi Arabia is spending billions of dollars renovating and expanding the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, to allow it to hold 2m pilgrims at a time. It is estimated about 6m pilgrims travelled to Madinah and Makkah for Haj or Umrah last year.


UN slams Israel settlement

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I July 2013

‘Germany to expand online surveillance’

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has criticized Israel’s settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, calling the move a “violation of international law.” Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the UN chief is deeply concerned about Israel moving forward with a plan to build more than 1,000 new illegal units in two West Bank settlements. “They constitute a deeply worrisome trend at a moment of ongoing efforts to re-launch peace negotiations,” Nesirky said. The United States also slammed the Israeli regime for its settlement activates on the occupied Palestinian territories. “The secretary has expressed his concern in the past both publicly and in private conversations.” State

Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement. Nabil Shaath, an adviser to acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, said the latest Israeli move shows Tel Aviv “is destroying the two-state solution and the prospects of a peace deal in deeds and words.” The Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine have created a major obstacle to the Middle East peace process. A report released last month revealed that the Israeli regime confiscated 1,977 acres of the Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank for its settlement activity during 2012. More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

German news weekly Der Spiegel said in a report that the intelligence agency -- known by its German acronym, BND -- has planned a 100-million-euro ($130 million) program over the next five years to expand web monitoring. The program requires up to 100 new staff members on a “technical reconnaissance” team, the report said, adding that it will cover 20 % of all communications between Germany and foreign countries. The magazine noted that due to technical limitations, the BND currently monitors only five percent of emails, Internet calls, and online chats. Meanwhile, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Der Spiegel that “Our intelligence services must have an Internet presence,”. “We have to balance out a loss of control over the communication of criminals through new legal and tech means,” he added in an effort to justify the Internet surveillance by intelligence agencies.

Saudi defends big cut in pilgrims

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Haj has said the decision to cut the number of pilgrims is “exceptional and temporary” until the completion of expansion plans at the holy sites. Dr Bandar bin Mohammed Hajjar was defending the decision to reduce the numbers of pilgrims at home by 50 percent and abroad by 20 percent. During an interview, Hajjar said that the current expansion projects of the Grand Holy Mosque in Makkah will add 400,000 sq to the current area to accommodate 2.2 million worshippers. He added that the Jamarat Bridge will be expanded from six to 12 floors to accommodate 5 million pilgrims per day, and the Prophet’s Holy Mosque in Madinah will be expanded

to accommodate more than two million worshippers. Hajjar said that the expansion projects include public transport costing a total of SR62bn. The Saudi Arabian tourism industry and Umrah visa operators claimed they will lose SR5bn

($1.3bn) in revenue after the kingdom limited the number of visas and their duration. Muslim pilgrims who make the voyage to Makkah will now only be allowed to stay in Saudi Arabia for 14 days because of renovations and an expansion of the Grand Mosque.


Saudi Arabia opens first female only sports centre www.pi-media.co.uk

I July 2013

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Saudi Arabia has opened its first female-only sports centre in another move towards gender equality in the kingdom. Women and girls will be able to for the first time participate in sports such as karate and yoga and attend group fitness classes, local Arabic newspaper Al Watan reported. All of the instructors at the centre will be females who had to be brought in from other countries because women had been prevented from training in many sports. Saudi Arabia only sent female athletes to the Olympics for the first time last year after it had been criticised by international human rights groups. The conservative Islamic kingdom also recently removed a ban on female students playing sport at some schools. That decision received backlash from some of the kingdom’s most conservative members.

A year ago, a girls’ school in Saudi Arabia was reportedly the first to defy the religious ban on female sports by erecting basketball hoops and letting students play during breaks. King Abdullah has pushed for women to have better opportunities in education, employment and

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SPORT I 17

politics. The first women joined the Shoura Council earlier this year and numerous professions have been opened up to women for the first time. However women are still not allowed to drive and must have a male relative’s permission to do many things including open a bank


Newcastle players oppose new shirt sponsor

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I SPORT

www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2013

In Case You Missed It

A second Newcastle player has taken legal advice over the club’s sponsorship deal with loans company Wonga. Cheick Tiote met the club to ask them not to use promotional shots of him wearing their new branded kit. Striker Papiss Cisse has already expressed his disquiet about the Wonga partnership but he and fellow Muslim players Tiote, Massaido Haidara, Hatem Ben Arfa and Moussa Sissoko did pose in the new strip emblazoned with the wonga. com logo in a photo session for the first-team squad in April to promote the company. Cisse and Tiote were not aware at the time of the nature of Wonga’s business and feel aggrieved the club did not inform them. Muslims are prevented from benefiting from the lending of money under Sharia Law. Newcastle have released pictures only of Steven Taylor wearing the new Wonga strip — but those of other first-team players could be rolled out soon. Newcastle announced a four-

year deal worth an estimated £24million with Wonga last October and the team will carry their name next season. While aware of the delicate nature of the issue, owner Mike Ashley is reluctant to weaken the image of their partnership by having players wearing unbranded tops. Players’ union, the PFA, have vowed to back Cisse if he refuses to wear the Wonga logo, with deputy chief Bobby Barnes saying: ‘If

Ahmed in contention for the Ashes Pakistan-born spinner Fawad Ahmed is being sent to Africa on an Australia A tour at the same time as the Ashes series. But Ahmed remains in contention for the Ashes should his Australian citizenship be approved in time. Ahmed was named in a 15-man Australia A squad for an African tour last month. Ahmed’s citizenship is expected to be approved before the first Test against England starting July 10. The 31-year-old claimed refuge in Australia three years ago after fleeing his native Pakistan, saying he was being persecuted by the Taliban. A recent amendment to Australia’s Citizenship Act means that Ahmed would be allowed to fast-track his passport application in time for the Ashes series, but the amendment has yet to pass the Senate. Australia A will play Zimbabwe and South Africa A in three and four-day matches from July 18, with a one-day series to follow also including India A.

someone feels very strongly that it’s not compatible with their beliefs, then some sort of solution should be found.’ Wonga specialise in short-term loans and charge an annual interest rate of 4,214 per cent. When the deal with Newcastle was announced, city council leader Nick Forbes and Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, both described Wonga as ‘legal loan sharks’.

Pakistan confirm UAE cricket series Pakistan confirmed the next two cricket series will be held at neutral venues, inviting bids to host South Africa and Sri Lanka in the UAE. Officials had been reluctant to announce their next two series from October-January, instead hoping they could convince visiting teams to tour Pakistan, a country hard hit by Taliban and Al-Qaedalinked violence. “The two series will be played in the UAE as we have started our preparations,” a PCB official confirmed, refusing to be named. Pakistan play two Tests, five one-day and three Twenty20 internationals against South Africa in October-November before returning to play three Tests, five one-day and two T20s against Sri Lanka in December-January. Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998, citing serious threats to their players.


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SPORT I 19

I July 2013

Local Tennis a success in West Yorkshire

The Lawn Tennis Association together with Tennis Foundation last month launched a number of new opportunities to play and receive free tennis coaching for everyone in Leeds and Dewsbury areas as part of their on-going community programmes and all play initiatives. The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is the national governing body of tennis in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, while the Tennis Foundation is Great Britain’s leading tennis charity and whose vision is that the sport is inclusive and accessible to every kind of community whatever their ability and knowledge of Tennis. Members from all different communities attended the events which were held at Cross Flatts Park, Leeds, Crow Nest Park, St John Fisher High School Dewsbury and John Charles Centre for Sport in south Leeds. 100’s of families came along to the free events manned by qualified tennis coaches and Local trained Activators funded by the tennis foundation. Starr Zaman Health worker from Dewsbury who set up the events told us that the involvement from the Tennis foundation had been integral at all levels. The aim from these programs was to start some sort of tennis activity and make it accessible for all the communities whatever your ability and knowledge of the game. We (Tennis foundation) have

trained up close to 40 Activators whom are integral to the success of this project and the idea has always been to get some role models from the community to lead a selfsustaining program. These sessions are breaking down perceived barriers and by doing so tackling health inequalities indirectly. The response from both communities and attendees has been very positive and the numbers attending the sessions are much higher than we expected. The tennis foundation will be putting on various courses in the near future across the region so please email health.matters@rccl.org to register your interest in becoming a coach. Paul Bennett, LTA Tennis Operations Manager for the North added, Tennis activators are locally identified people who express an interest to become involved in our sport, then attend a training course at a local community venue and that becomes the start of a journey to

volunteering and leading sessions which can then lead to further qualifications. Taking tennis into the heart of local communities is not only a new way of working but a new way of thinking for all the officers and professionals involved in tennis to give the ownership back to local community / voluntary groups and key stakeholders in the community. Paul Bennett added, “Nationally the tennis foundation have made a firm commitment in getting communities that are traditionally hard to reach reachable. I feel excited at the progress of this pilot and we are already in discussion to role a similar scheme across other areas with high BME communities”. The LTA and TF will be holding more of these free events in the coming months and throughout the year. For info please visit http://tennis-in-leeds.co.uk and http://www.lta.org.uk

British tennis launches schools comp

British tennis announced an exciting digital competition to find out what tennis means to school pupils across the country. Schools will be invited to create a short video showcasing ways in which their pupils are engaging in tennis, not just by playing but in other ways across their curriculum that engages all pupils. The judging panel, which will be made up of representatives from

British tennis and the Department of Education, are looking for submissions that demonstrate innovation in teaching and learning and the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle through tennis with a focus on enjoyment and respect between pupils. The competition builds on British tennis’ Aegon Schools Tennis programme, which is delivered by the Tennis Foundation in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). The programme aims to increase and improve tennis participation in schools, remove barriers by training teachers to deliver a fun, quality tennis experience in confined spaces, and create links to enable young people to continue playing in the community. Since April 2009, Aegon Schools Tennis has supported 16,002 schools

with free teacher training, resources and equipment. As well as those schools who have already been supported, the competition will also be open to schools not yet supported through the Aegon Schools Tennis programme but who would like to get involved. The winning school will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena, London which takes place during 4th to 11th November 2013. They will also be invited to attend an experience day at the National Tennis Centre and every school that submits a film will be entered into a prize draw to receive one of 50 schools tennis equipment vouchers. The competition closes at 5pm on Friday 12th July 2013 with the winner announced the following week.


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www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2013

FEATURED

Health Matters: Empowering you to

make positive changes this Ramadan

“Know the benefits of nutritious food, physical and mental well-being this Ramadan. If you understand why you need to develop certain habits then you are more likely to continue these behaviours after Ramadan” .

Health Guidelines for Ramadan What we eat and drink directly affects our health. Fasting during Ramadan can be good for your health if it’s done correctly. When the body is starved of food, it starts to burn fat so that it can make energy. This can lead to weight loss. However, if you fast for too long your body will eventually start breaking down muscle protein for energy, which is unhealthy. Those observing the fast should have at least two meals a day, the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal at dusk (Iftar). Meals should be simple and not differ too much from a normal diet. It is important that meals contain items from all the major food groups including: • Fruit and vegetables • Bread, other cereals and potatoes • Meat, fish and alternatives • milk and dairy foods • Foods containing fat and sugar Breaking a fast with a feast is not recommended and can cause weight gain, regardless of how long a fast has lasted during Ramadan. A Diet Plan Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal: This should be a wholesome, moderate

meal that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours. It is very important to include slowlydigested foods. iftar – the meal that breaks the day’s fast: This could include dates or fruit juices to provide a refreshing burst of energy. These healthy meal ideas will give you a varied and balanced diet during Ramadan. They include ingredients from the major five food groups. Fluids (water and juices) and dates should be added to each Suhoor and Iftar. The fast is broken with dates, followed by dinner. Suhoor Day 1: a bowl of porridge with milk, one slice of toast and a handful of unsalted nuts Iftar Day 1: pitta bread with chicken, salad and hummus and one or two pieces of baklava Suhoor Day 2: wheat-based cereal with milk, a plain scone or crumpet and an apple or banana Iftar Day 2: chicken with boiled rice, vegetable curry and mixed salad, followed by fruit salad with single cream Suhoor Day 3: a bowl of shredded wheat or muesli and a pear or orange

Iftar Day 3: baked fish with roasted vegetables, or fish curry with rice followed by sweet vermicelli or one piece of jalebi (an Indian sweet) Suhoor Day 4: cheese, then one teaspoon of jam with crackers or toast, and a handful of dried fruits Iftar Day 4: pasta cooked with vegetables and chicken or fish, and a slice of plain cake with custard. Foods that are beneficial during fasting: Complex carbohydrates will help release energy slowly during the hours of fasting. They are found in grains and seeds such as barley, wheat, oats, semolina, beans, lentils and basmati rice; Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly. These include bran, cereals,whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin, vegetables such as green beans and almost all fruit including apricots, prunes and figs. Foods to avoid: Heavily processed, fastburning foods containing refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar and white flour. Too much fatty food should also be avoided, such as


I July 2013 cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets.The guide suggests drinks such as tea, coffee and cola could also be avoided because of their caffeine content.

www.pi-media.co.uk

Frequently asked health questions about fasting during Ramadan.

These answers have been put together by medical experts and Islamic scholars and researchers. Should a person with diabetes fast? People who have their diabetes under control, either by their diet or using tablets, may fast. However, their GP may require them to change their medication to help them take tablets outside fasting times. Those who need insulin to control their diabetes should not fast. I get severe migraines when I don’t eat and they get worse when I fast. Should I fast? People with uncontrolled migraines should not fast. However, managing your migraines is possible with the right medicine and certain lifestyle changes. Ask your GP for further advice on controlling your migraines. Should a person with high or low blood pressure fast? People with well-controlled high blood pressure may fast. Their GP may require a change to their medicine to help them take tablets outside fasting times. Someone with low blood pressure who is otherwise healthy may fast. They must ensure they drink enough fluid and have enough salt. Is fasting harmful when a woman is expecting a baby? Must pregnant women fast? There’s medical evidence to show that fasting in pregnancy is not a good idea. If a pregnant woman feels strong and healthy enough to fast, especially during the early part of the pregnancy, she may do so. If she doesn’t feel well enough to fast, Islamic law gives her clear permission not to fast, and to make up the missed fasts later. If she is unable to do this, she must perform fidyah (a method of compensation for a missed act of worship).

Is Ramadan a good time to quit smoking? Yes. Smoking is bad for your health and Ramadan is a great opportunity to change unhealthy habits, including smoking. Find out more about stopping smoking by contacting health.matters@rccl.org or ring 01924 510030 and speak to a health advisor. From what age can children fast safely? Children are required to fast upon reaching puberty. It isn’t harmful. Fasting before this age is tolerated differently depending on the attitude of the parents and the child’s general health and nutrition. Fasting for children under the age of seven or eight isn’t advisable. It’s a good idea to make children aware of what fasting involves and to practise fasting for a few hours at a time. Can I use an asthma inhaler during Ramadan? Muslim experts have differing opinions on this issue. Some say that using an asthma inhaler isn’t the same as eating or drinking, and is therefore permitted during fasting. In their view, people with asthma can fast and use their inhalers whenever they need to. However, other scholars say that the inhaler provides small amounts of liquid medicine to the lungs, so it breaks the fast. They say that people with poor control of their asthma must not fast until good control is achieved. Some people with asthma may opt for longer-acting inhalers so that they can fast. See your GP for further advice. Can a person fast if they are getting a blood transfusion in hospital? No. A person receiving a blood transfusion is advised not to fast on medical grounds. They may fast on the days when no transfusions are required. I am on regular medication. Can I still fast? If the medicine needs to be taken during fasting, do not fast. If this medication is required as treatment for a short illness, you

FEATURED I 21 can compensate for missed fasts by fasting on other days when you are well. If you are on long-term medication then you could talk to your GP about whether you could change your medication, so that you can take it outside the time of the fast. If your disease is unstable, or poorly controlled, do not fast. Those who are unable to carry out the missed fasts later, due to the longterm use of medication, should do fidyah.

Could dehydration become so bad that you have to break the fast? Yes. You could become very dehydrated if you do not drink enough water before the fast. Poor hydration can be made worse by weather conditions, and even everyday activities such as walking to work or housework. If you produce very little or no urine, feel disoriented and confused, or faint due to dehydration, you must stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. Islam doesn’t require you to harm yourself in fulfilling the fast. If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated for by fasting at a later date. Can I fast while I have dialysis? People on peritoneal dialysis must not fast and should perform fidyah. Haemodialysis is performed about three times a week and causes significant shifts of fluids and salts within the body. Such patients must not fast and should perform fidyah. Article put together by Health Matters @ Ravensthorpe Community Centre LTD. health.matters@rccl.org 01924 510030


Ramadan: Month of Patience and Sympathy

22

I FEATURED

Salman, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports, “On the last day of Shaban Rasulullah addressed us and said, ‘O people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made Fasting compulsory by day. And has made sunnah the Taraweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy faraa-idh in any other time. This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah ( paradise. It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq is increased.

Passion Islam

Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell}, and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who Fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least.” Thereupon we said, “O messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast.” Rasulullah replied, “Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk.” “This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahan-nam.” “Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bonds-men) in this

I July 2013

month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam.” “And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa llaaha illallaah) and make much Istighfaar beg Allah’s forgiveness with Astagirfirul-laah).” And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah, entrance into paradise and ask refuge in Him from Jahannam.” “And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.”


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I July 2013

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